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Youngest-ever trustee joins North Chicago Library Board

Posted by Vance D. Wyatt | Lake County Board Member - District 14 on May 18, 2011 at 2:00 AM

Judy Masterson 

NORTH CHICAGO — Expect no moss to gather anywhere near Vance Wyatt, the North Chicago Public Library Board’s newest trustee.

Wyatt, 20, will bring new energy to the board, said Mayor Leon Rockingham, who made the appointment last month. It’s the kind of energy that within an hour of a photo session with a News-Sun photographer publicizes the fact on Facebook and urges: “Look out for the article soon.”

Wyatt is believed to be the youngest-ever member of the Library Board — a post often reserved for the retired, the bookish, the fiduciary-minded long-in-the-tooth. True to his youth, Wyatt seeks speed of information.

“After much research, I am sure enough to say I am the youngest library trustee within the entire USA,” Wyatt announced on his Web site: “It is an accomplishment that North Chicago can be proud of.”

Wyatt was appointed after losing gracefully in February’s 4th Ward aldmermanic race to incumbent Bobby Allen.

Rockingham, pleased with Wyatt’s persistence, said the 2008 graduate of North Chicago High School asked for the appointment before filing a nominating petition and asked again after his unsuccessful council bid.

“Yes he’s young, but I think he’s going to bring a lot to the table,” Rockingham said.

An online college student who will turn 21 on May 29, Wyatt loves technology. He just started his own consulting company, Wyatt Solutions, which will build Web sites and set up local and wireless access networks.

He has not been a heavy library user in recent years — “I’m an e-book reader,” he said — but he has considered how the library might serve as an engine for the community.

“I’m looking into bringing more community involvement into the library, into using the library as a driver to educate our community,” he said.

His ideas include teaching more seniors to use computers and using the library to teach students how to gather information. He wants to upgrade technology, create a city archives and institute movie nights.

“I’d like keep the youth busy during summer so they won’t be out in bad sections of North Chicago,” Wyatt said.

Those are laudable goals, said library Director Joan Battley, who recalls a time when Wyatt did rely on the library — in middle school — when she served as children’s librarian.

“He’s very enthusiastic, and he has a lot of great ideas,” Battley said. “I, too, love to think big and want to take the library to the next level. But it will take time — and money.”

Wyatt, along with Battley and library trustees Bob Runnels and Etta Robinson, will attend the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans in June. But if his Web store products — T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers all announcing “Wyatt 2013” — are an indication, Wyatt has also has his eye on the next election.

“I just want to give back to the community that shaped me into the young man that I am,” Wyatt said.


From: News Sun


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